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HOKITIKA BOROUGH COUNCIL ELECTIONS.

TUB POLLING,

The polling for the election of three citizens t > fill the seats in the Borough Council, vacant by the retirement of Messrs Shaw, Ecclesfield, and Iliggin, took place yesterday, commencing at the somewhat early hour of eight o'clock in the morning and closing at four o'clock in the afternoon.

The circumstances connected with this election have tended to invest it with more than usual interest No less than 10 candidates offered themselves to the choice of the electors— all of them rGspcctablc in their several vocations ; the majority being men whom the citizens of any city or town might be proud to choose as their

representatives. During the time which intervened between the nomination and the polling, all the candidates had given expression to their views on municipal matters — many of them by advertisement, and with one exception the whole of them have addressed public meetings, and have been subjected to a severe ordeal of questioning! ( „ The polling^ whicli was Conducted on,the principle of open voting, instead of the ballot, which has hither! b prevailed in Ilokitika, took place ia the Borough Council Chambers, Revell street. Ilis Worship the Mayor, lOvan Prosser, Esq., officiated as Returning Officer,being assisted in the discharge of his duties by the Town Clerk, the Rate Collector, and two or three poll clerks. A few scrutineers also were present on behalf of the candidates.

From the hour at which the poll opened the voting went on very- languidly, voter.? presenting themselves either singly, or at most by twos or threes, to record their votes. One or two of the candidates might also be seen promenading in front of the Council Chambers, button-holing " the citizens as they came to the poll, and all smiles and softness, trying to win the sweet voices of the electors. At noon the aspect of affairs changed, the remainder of the candidates appeared, on the ground, the voters came up more thickly, the 1 ollclerks began to be fully employed, and electors were eagerly sought by the candidates and their friends. Warm and cordial were the shakings of hand, and most persuasive were the tones in which the citizens were addressed, and it was evident to a casual observer, that the work of the day had commenced in real earnest. Some of the candida-es did not resort to personal canvass, but in lieu thereof cards were freely handed about, giving reasons why a particular candidate should be supported. Here are two or three specimens of this mode of solicitation:—"lf you want to benefit the town and develope t'u country, vote for D. Macfarlane, and secure a water .supply, the only tangible scheme for the ultimate reduction of the rates." " Vote for Robert Ecclesfield, the oM councillor. He is an advocate for an open port, efficient drainage, awater supply,snd judicious economy." Mr Breeze, the candidate who was lowest on the poll adopted a somewhat novel mode of advancing his pretensions to public favour. A troop of juveniles paraded in front of the Council Chamber, each bearing - large illuraina'ed placards, which pi'o* claimed iv glowing colours, the many excellencies of the candidate. As time wore on, the cfotvd kept on increasing, and the Council Chamber was crowded with voters. Speculation, top, was rife as to Avhom the palm of victory would be accorded; and bets for small sums or for hats were freely offered and taken. At half-psst three o'clock, the excitement became more intensified, aud when two lady voters presented themselves at trie polliug-both to avail themselves of tliow rights and privileges wliich the law has conferred upon them, they were greeted with loud a> d prolonged cheering. At length f.ur o'clock anived, and the doors of the Council Chambers were closed, but the room itself was full of citizens, the reeoi ding of whose votes was n- 1 completed until nearly five o'clock. A lar H -c crowd had arsembled in front of ' • the building, and despite the rain which ' fell heavily, they kept watch and ward with most exemp'ary patien.-e, anxiously awaiting to know on whom the choice of the electors had fallen. There was p'enty of joking and good-humoured badinage cS 1 changed, but nothing approaching to *unkindness or ill-feeling prevailed to.n\ar the proceedings of what has been the most, exciting contest known in Hokitika. The - difficult}' experienced" at this election did not consist in inducing good lueri to come ' forward, but in selecting the three from so large a number of good, true, and faithful citizens, but this has been done, and the electors arc to be congratulated upon the excellence of their choice.

At five o'clock, his "Worship the Mayor appeared, and said that the official declaration would take place this day at noon, but that as soon as it could be prepared} A rough state of the poll would be exhibited in one of the windows ot the Chamber. .At six o'clock the following was published :—: —

ROUGH STArE OF THE POLL. Macfarlane, Duncan ... 475 White, John 417 Co«grave, J. 378 Clarke, J. B. ... ... 325 Jack, M. \V 253 Mcc, A 232 Ecclesfield, E. .., ... 216 Cross, J ... 91 Tait, J 62 Breeze, J. J. 7 The crowd then dispersed. •

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WCT18681003.2.13

Bibliographic details

HOKITIKA BOROUGH COUNCIL ELECTIONS., West Coast Times, Issue 946, 3 October 1868

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867

HOKITIKA BOROUGH COUNCIL ELECTIONS. West Coast Times, Issue 946, 3 October 1868

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